UMM Diversity Policy
The University of Maine at Machias is committed to a fully inclusive campus community that values differences in race, ethnicity, gender identity, economic background, ages, abilities, sexual orientations, political beliefs, and spiritual values. We strive to transcend attitudes and actions that prevent full participation and inclusion in our campus community.
Vision Statement on the Role of Diversity in Higher Education
Our vision of diversity is that of a resource that invigorates the learning process and energizes the campus community being mindful that it can be a source of misunderstandings and wasted potential. Diversity is the tie that binds, linking together the curricular and the extra-curricular, the individual and the collective, and one group to another. Diversity also underscores the need to examine, reaffirm, and cultivate certain individual and institutional values. Experience has shown that diversity initiatives are most like to succeed in environments characterized by strongly shared values, including: the value of academic excellence, civic responsibility, self-respect, and good will towards members of the campus community. Diversity invigorates the two major types of learning that take place in the university: academic learning that occurs in the classroom and interpersonal learning that takes place outside the classroom in sites like residence halls and the library.
The respect for diversity entails a set of values, outlooks, and social practices that are indispensable for academic excellence. Open-mindedness, for example, is a hallmark both of academics and multi-culturalism. The recognition of human differences and nuances of belief and behavior within all groups bypasses the tendency to think in gross generalizations and over-simplifications. Individuals from different backgrounds teach others to interpret ideas or written works in new and unexpected ways. Differences between and within groups fuel academic dialog. Without difference and even disagreement in perspective, a dialog is impossible! Through collaborative exchange and interaction comes the release of creative energies. Through variety, learning can mix with the pleasure of discovery and experimentation.
The respect for diversity also provides the basis for interpersonal learning that takes place outside the classroom. Attending college opens up unique opportunities of cultural exposure. In the university setting students regularly interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds, which can shatter barriers that separate groups and energize mundane social interactions, creating exciting opportunities to broaden a student's horizons. Students also come to recognize differences and disagreements within communities, enabling them to break down misconceptions and stereotypes. Exposure to diversity outside the classroom teaches students to reexamine their own underlying assumptions and values, resulting in a broader understanding of our complex world.
UMM Diversity Committee Members 2015 - 2016
Beth Russet, FNP, Student Health Coordinator (Chair)
Jennifer Bragdon, Student Body
Lois-Ann Kuntz, Arts & Letters
Garret Lee, Arts & Letters
Daniel Qualls, Arts & Letters
Megan Duff, Arts & Letters
Kim Page, Human Resources
Amy Lentz, President's Office
Heather Ball, Professional Studies
Anne Leaver, Mental Health Counselor
Joe McLaughlin, Graduate Student Intern
Evan Centala, Residential Education and Commuter Life
PJ Singh, Admissions/International Student Services